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Finnish premier sees positive tendency in Russia-West ties

July 11, 2016, 19:13 UTC+3 HELSINKI

Finland however supports sanctions policy of the European Union against Russia

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 Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila


HELSINKI, July 11. /TASS/. Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila said on Monday he saw positive tendencies emerging in relations of Russia and the West.

"Finland supports a general sanctions policy of the European Union [against Russia], as the implementation of the Minsk agreements has not progressed," the prime minister said at the yearly public debate forum SuomiAreena in the city of Pori.

"We will speak about Russia in more detail at a meeting of the European Council in October," Juha Sipila said, noting that the situation at the moment was more encouraging than previously as a dialog had intensified.

He said he believed a recent NATO summit had demonstrated "a bid in the West and in the East to come to an understanding".

He also commented on stances by some Swedish politicians on a Finland-Russia dialog, referring to their saying at a yearly discussion on foreign policy in June that they did not understand why Helsinki had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the country in the existing international situation.

The prime minister said his Swedish counterpart had already made a telephone call and apologized, "saying Sweden supported the policy Finland had chosen towards the Russian Federation".

For incorporation of Crimea after the 2014 coup in Ukraine, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.

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